Nginx Proxy Manager: Simplifying Web Server Management in 2023

Nginx Proxy Manager: Simplifying Web Server Management in 2023

Nginx Proxy Manager is a web-based GUI for managing Nginx reverse proxy servers. It simplifies the configuration process for load balancing, SSL termination, and access control, making it an ideal tool for managing web servers. Nginx Proxy Manager also provides real-time analytics, allowing you to monitor your server's performance and detect issues before they become critical.

Nginx Proxy Manager Requirements and Installation steps

Before you install Nginx Proxy Manager, ensure that your server meets the following requirements:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 or higher

  • Node.js version 10 or higher

  • Nginx version 1.15 or higher

  • A domain name or subdomain

Follow these steps to install Nginx Proxy Manager:

  1. Install Node.js

  2. Install Nginx

  3. Install Nginx Proxy Manager

  4. Set up your domain name or subdomain.

  5. Access Nginx Proxy Manager's web interface

If you encounter any issues during installation, consult Nginx Proxy Manager's documentation or online forums for troubleshooting tips.


Once you have installed Nginx Proxy Manager, you can start configuring it for your web server needs. Here are some key features you can configure:

  • Adding proxy hosts: allows you to add new domains or subdomains to your server.

  • Configuring SSL certificates: this allows you to configure SSL certificates for HTTPS traffic.

  • Setting up load balancing: allows you to distribute traffic across multiple servers.

  • Creating access control rules: allows you to control who can access your server.

  • Enabling rate limiting: allows you to prevent traffic spikes from overwhelming your server.

Advanced features

Nginx Proxy Manager also offers some advanced features that you can use to customize your server further:

  • Setting up custom headers allows you to add custom headers to your HTTP requests and responses.

  • Configuring subdomains: this allows you to create subdomains for your domains, which can be useful for organizing your server.

  • Using the API: allows you to automate tasks and interact with Nginx Proxy Manager programmatically.

Once the NGINX Proxy Manager is running, you can create a virtual host for the webserver by clicking the Add Proxy Host button. Fill out the New Proxy Host form with the domain names where your web server will be accessible, the protocol to use when accessing the web server, the hostname or IP address of the web server, the port on which the web server listens for requests, and other details. The form should match the screenshot provided in the tutorial. Finally, navigate to the virtual host URL in a new browser tab or window. You should see the default home page if the virtual host is working correctly.

The NGINX Proxy Manager also lets you install an SSL certificate to your virtual host. To do so, click the SSL Certificates tab from the NGINX Proxy Manager admin panel and then click Add SSL Certificates. You can add a custom certificate or request a Let's Encrypt certificate directly. For a custom certificate, you must provide a human-friendly name for the certificate in the admin panel, the certificate key that comes with the certificate file you generated, and the certificate file itself in .crt or .pem format.

The NGINX Proxy Manager also allows you to configure other users to either view or manage their own hosts. Full access permissions are available. The NGINX Proxy Manager is NGINX's built-in reverse proxy management system best suited for small server environments. It runs on Docker and offers a neat and efficient interface for easy proxy management.

Nginx Proxy Manager vs. other proxy servers

Nginx Proxy Manager offers several advantages over other popular proxy servers:

  • User-friendly interface: Nginx Proxy Manager provides a web-based GUI, making configuring and managing your server easy.

  • Real-time analytics: Nginx Proxy Manager provides real-time analytics, allowing you to quickly monitor your server's performance and detect issues.

  • Open source: Nginx Proxy Manager is an open-source project, making it free to use and customize.

  • Lightweight: Nginx Proxy Manager is lightweight and efficient, requiring minimal resources to run.

Nginx vs. Nginx Proxy Manager

Here are the differences between NGINX and NGINX Proxy Manager:

  • NGINX is a web server that is used for serving static content, reverse proxying, and load balancing. NGINX Proxy Manager is a web-based tool that simplifies the management of virtual hosts and reverse proxies in NGINX.\
  • NGINX is a package that you install on your operating system, while NPM is an app that you deploy in Docker.\
  • NGINX requires manual configuration files to manage proxies and virtual hosts, while NPM uses a web console to create, manage, and secure virtual hosts.\
  • NGINX is more flexible than NPM, but NPM is easier to use.


Nginx Proxy Manager simplifies the process of managing web servers, providing a user-friendly interface and real-time analytics. With its advanced features and lightweight design, Nginx Proxy Manager is a great option for anyone looking to improve their web server performance. As the project continues to develop, new features and enhancements will likely be added, further improving its functionality.

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Ruslan Osipov
Written by author: Ruslan Osipov